WADA President Witold Bańka has said "non-conformities" could hold up lifting of sanctions on Russia ©Getty Images

The reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) when the two-year period of sanctions imposed on it comes to an end on Saturday (December 17) is far from certain, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President, Witold Bańka, has hinted.

Bańka cited the case currently under dispute between the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) concerning figure skater Kamila Valieva, upon whom WADA is trying to impose a four-year ban following the positive doping test that emerged during the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.

Meanwhile, the ROC President, Stanislav Pozdnyakov has said a ban on Valieva would be unfair.

Asked if this ongoing case might impact upon the judgements imposed upon RUSADA - which entailed a four-year sanction until that period was halved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on December 17, 2020 - the WADA President told insidethegames:

"WADA’s position on that case has been clear at all stages.

"Despite putting RUSADA under formal notice to resolve it promptly, no progress was made in a reasonable timeframe.

"So, on 8 November 2022, WADA officially referred it directly to CAS.

"As the case is pending, we cannot comment further at this stage.

"This case does not form part of the CAS decision of December 2020 and therefore is not linked to the reinstatement of RUSADA.

"However, the rules state that a non-compliant signatory cannot be reinstated if a further non-conformity is discovered and remains unresolved.

Russian athletes arriving under the banner of their Olympic Committee at the Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony ©Getty Images
Russian athletes arriving under the banner of their Olympic Committee at the Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony ©Getty Images

"WADA’s virtual audit of RUSADA in September identified a number of non-conformities.

"Even if the reinstatement conditions in the CAS Award are met, therefore, RUSADA cannot be reinstated until all the further non-conformities arising from the virtual audit have been resolved."

Bańka added that there will be no automatic status ante quo on December 17.

"RUSADA remains non-compliant," he said. 

"Once the two-year period covered by the CAS award elapses on 17 December 2022, WADA management will initiate a comprehensive review to carefully assess whether RUSADA has met all the conditions of reinstatement as laid out in the CAS award.

"Once WADA management considers that all conditions have been met, it will refer the matter to the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) for its review.

"If the CRC agrees, it will make a recommendation to the WADA Executive Committee. 

"Failure to meet the reinstatement conditions in full would lead to RUSADA’s non-compliance status being maintained until such time as they have been met."

For the full interview, click here.